Call for Papers - Rebalancing International Investment Agreements In Favour of Host States: The Case For an International Investment Court



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Luton, England


University of Bedfordshire, School of Law and Finance

Change is an unavoidable feature of international law and one which has recently surfaced in the area of international investment law. This area has been in constant dynamic change since the inception of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), which is commonly associated with arbitration under the auspices of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Balancing the interests of both investors and host States, in a constantly changing materiae of international legal practice, is one of the discipline’s most fundamental challenges. Reform to our current system of ISDS surfaced during negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Agreement (TTIP) between the European Union (EU) and United States (US).

Following an EU-wide public consultation in 2014, the proposal for the inclusion of ISDS in TTIP was overwhelmingly rejected with a majority of respondents raising concern over the disparity between national policy and commercial interests. In response, the EU Commission released proposals for an international investment court in November 2015. This proposal has stimulated intense academic debate especially on whether the new ISDS would achieve the desired balance.

This conference is intended to create an opportunity to reflect and debate together the role of ISDS and the proposal for an international investment court. The themes sought to be explored include, inter alia, the tension between national sovereignty and private commercial interests, the international investment court system in the shadow of State contracts with arbitral clauses, judges verses arbitrators and the investment court verses other dispute resolution mechanisms.

The conference is open to both junior and senior international investment law scholars and practitioners. The convenors especially encourage doctoral and post-doctoral researchers to apply. Papers will be selected based on quality, originality, innovation and capacity to provoke debate about policy and practice. The convenors will seek to publish the proceedings from the conference in (awaiting confirmation). A limited number of grants are available to support the travel costs of accepted speakers.

Submissions: Abstracts of 500 words should be submitted to

Selected applicants will be informed of their acceptance by 8 June 2016. The abstracts will be distributed to the other conference participants in advance to facilitate an in-depth discussion. For any enquiries please contact the conference convenors:

Dr Chrispas Nyombi (
Dr Andreas Yiannaros (